P17-M VCO plant seen to boost Agusan Norte’s coco industry
By Alexander Lopez / Philippine News Agency
BUTUAN CITY – A PHP17 million virgin coconut oil (VCO) processing plant that is set to rise in Jabonga town in Agusan del Norte is expected to boost the province’s coconut industry.
“The processing plant is a big help for us. It will provide us market for our coconuts and the opportunity to venture into other livelihood activities,” Rebecca Felix, chairperson of the Libas Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LFMPC), told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.
The LFMPC, the project's partner-beneficiary in the area, has 37 members, 70 percent of whom are coconut farmers, in Jabonga and the neighboring towns of Santiago and Kitcharao, she said.
Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony signaled the start of the construction of the plant, with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) 13 (Caraga) handing over the funds to Jabonga’s municipal government.
“The coconut farmers of Agusan del Norte are thankful to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte for this opportunity given to us. We are also grateful to the PCA and our local leaders in the province and the municipality,” Felix said.
Aside from Agusan del Norte, coconut farmers from neighboring towns in Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Agusan del Sur can also benefit from the processing plant, she added.
PCA-13 Director Joel B. Oclarit, who graced the groundbreaking along with Governor Dale B. Corvera, said the plant could process about 10,000 nuts per day.
"Aside from VCO, other products from coconuts can also be processed in this plant,” Oclarit said, adding that the project is funded through Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. (PNA)